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Russian government to hold heads of highly subsidized regions, including Chechnya and annexed Ukrainian territories, responsible for shrinking federal deficit

Source: Meduza

The Russian government plans to hold the governors of Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and Tuva, as well as the Moscow-backed heads of the annexed Ukrainian regions, directly responsible for the country’s federal budget deficit, according to the newspaper Kommersant.

A new resolution drafted by the Finance Ministry would reportedly make federal subsidies to these regions contingent upon their leaders’ efforts to narrow the gap between spending and revenues. The eight governors have until December 18 to sign the agreement or to choose to forego subsidies.

According to the ministry’s press service, the regions in question are facing additional requirements because subsidies make up an especially high proportion of their budgets. “In two of the last three fiscal years, [federal subsidies] made up more than 40 percent of their revenues,” said the agency.

Experts who spoke to Kommersant expressed doubt that the federal government will be able to make the governors meet the new requirements. Political scientist Ilya Grashchenkov, for example, noted that the federal subsidies sent to Chechnya have always been on the rise and that the republic’s leaders would likely “take negatively” to their curtailment. As far as the “new regions,” as the Russian authorities refer to the annexed Ukrainian territories, economist and geographer Natalia Zubarevich predicted that the Russian Finance Ministry “isn’t going anywhere.”

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